With the mixed reception and success of Netflix revival series "Fuller House" and "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life", the recent culture of remakes has been pushed to the forefront. In the last few years we’ve seen our beloved franchises make a surprising return to both the big and small screens. It brings up the question, how did we get here?
There is a fine line between revamping an idea and riding the coattails of a series’ success. Who is to say we should even touch a franchise after it’s already had its run? There have been a few nearly unanimous flops such as "Fan4stic", "Ratchet & Clank" and "Jem and the Holograms".
What sets these works apart from the rest was their execution. It cannot be enough to simply approach something with the intent to pander to an audience on a nostalgic level. Even in the case of taking a franchise from a comic, video game or show and trying to reimagine it in a new way doesn’t set it up for success. There must be a balance between touching upon the source material, the original audience, and creating a medium that can be enjoyed by a new audience.
The fact that must be discussed is that there are no new ideas. There are only so many ways you can tell the same teenage angst filled love story, how many book-to- movie adaptations can be shown before it becomes the same unoriginal plot. Still, upcoming movies and revival events still hold promise.
Moving away from the big screen and form, bigger name networks seem to have jumped on the pandering bandwagon. Back in late 2015 to early 2016 the news that NBC ordered a pilot and a potential revival run of the cult classic series "Xena Warrior Princess" left fans of the hit show with mixed emotions. As news spread and we found what would and wouldn’t be included in the show, including the series’ original main star Lucy Lawless, there has been mixed reception.
A more recent announcement of "Will and Grace" coming back for a 10 episode revival with the original cast and crew brought much excitement. This was a good step from the network and a promising outlook for fans of both shows.
Is it a good idea to continue down the path of rehashing old ideas and franchises? Will these revivals and re-imaginings of shows have the right amount of respect for the original series while also pleasing a new audience? Only time can tell what shows can do a fan justice. If there is still an audience for these revivals, we should still see the remake market thriving for years to come.